M’s My Cousin, But How?

I’m trying to determine the connection I have with a DNA match at AncestryDNA that I’ll call “M.” M and I only have seven shared matches as 3 October 2018. M and I share 31 cM of DNA and Ancestry.com has predicted our relationship in the 4th to 6th cousin range. That’s reasonable. Given what I know about our shared matches, I’m trying to determine what my precise relationship with M is.

Of the seven matches that we share, I have determined my relationship to five of those matches.

Name cM shared Common ancestors Known Relationship
LA 389 George and Ida Trautvetter 1c1r
GE 229 George and Ida Trautvetter 2c
EN 68 John and Francis Trautvetter 3c
BR 39 unknown unknown
JA 34 John and Franciska Trautvetter 3c
ES 20.5 unknown unknown
MA 20.3 John and Franciska Trautvetter 3c1r

George and Ida Trautvetter are my great-grandparents. John and Franciska are George’s parents.

Determining my relationship to these matches was done in the following fashion:

  • LA and GE had usernames that made their first and last names clear. I knew who they were immediately and their projected relationship via DNA was what was expected.
  • EN had a tree that went back to her grandparents–one of those names I recognized as a relative whose relationship was known to me.
  • JA’s username was his first and last name and he had a tree that only included the name of his father (with no additional information).  These details were used to sketch out his tree where it was determined what his Trautvetter connection was. It was consistent with the projected DNA relationship to me.
  • MA’s tree went back to her great-grandparents which enabled me to make the connection.

The usernames have been abbreviated here and their precise relationship to me has not been included in this post to protect their pricacy. The two undetermined matches have been contacted via the messaging system in AncestryDNA. A has also been contacted.

Looking at the shared cM with these two unknown matches, it seems probable that they are either unknown descendants of John and Franciska (Bieger) Trautvetter or descendants of one set of John and Franciska’s parents. The same seems to be true of M as well.

The real reason for analyzing these matches (which is part of a larger project) is that I’m trying to use my DNA results to locate relatives of Franciska (Bieger) Trautvetter. The Trautvetter’s Germanic origins are already documented. It’s Franciska that I’m trying to learn something about. Because she married a Trautvetter and reproduced with a Trautvetter, her matches are often Trautvetter matches as well. Sifting them out will help me see which matches are probably through her family and not his. I do have DNA matches who are known descendants of John’s aunts/uncles and greataunts/greatuncles which are also being used to help sift through these matches.

I’ve not had much luck getting people to submit their DNA to GedMatch–which allows for more effective analysis of DNA matches. I’m stuck with what AncestryDNA is offering. If there were a chromosome browser at AncestryDNA, that would make this analysis much easier.

But tracking these determined matches is crucial.

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2 thoughts on “M’s My Cousin, But How?

  1. I don’t know why anyone would think ancestry would spend money on a chromosome browser or any other kind of tool to help with DNA matches. They are never going to do that. It would be taking money right out of their shareholder’s hands. Ancestry is content to let DNA tests be uploaded somewhere else because ancestry has already collected the money for the test. Adding any tools at ancestry is an unnecessary waste of ancestry money. Ancestry also needs to spend some money on its web site; has needed to for years, but what do we get? Baseball cards for your person’s page or spotify play list. WHAT do I need either of those things for? Don’t hold your breath waiting for ancestry to do anything FOR you. Money is the name of their game.

    • I understand it’s about money. It usually is. One can always hope…even though it may never happen. Sometimes we mention these things to make readers aware that they do exist, because I’m convinced that a significant chunk of the population does not. Based upon my emails, large numbers of AncestryDNA testers don’t upload their matches anywhere else, either.

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